Exploring the difference between recyclers and non-recyclers: The role of information.

Journal of Environmental Systems 01/1988; 18(4):341-351.

ABSTRACT This article reports on a pilot study which explored how recyclers and non-recyclers differ. Two hundred households were first identified by direct observation over a series of months being either recyclers or non-recyclers. These households were then contacted and ninety-one respondents agreed to answer a series of verbal questions and complete a short written questionnaire. While from a preliminary study, these data are useful in suggesting that recyclers and non-recyclers are similar in their prorecycling attitudes, extrinsic motivation, and the degree to which they viewed recycling as a trivial activity. They differed significantly, however, in the degree to which they required additional information about recycling. Non-recycling respondents indicated a lack of information on how to carry out the activity. The study is also of interest due to the isolation of attitudinal and behavioral aspects of recycling. Since some form of relationship between these two constructs is so pervasive in the literature, the results are conceptually intriguing. Perhaps more
important, however, are the practical implications for enabling non-recyclers to change their behavior independently of their attitudes.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the state of knowledge of students and faculty on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus; identify relevant gaps in knowledge and misconceptions about recycling; and provide recommendations regarding how these gaps and misconceptions may be addressed through education and outreach. Design/methodology/approach – Using mental models analysis, the current state of knowledge possessed by students and faculty was compared with a comprehensive inventory of on-campus recycling procedures and opportunities. Findings – By combining data from individual mental models elicited from students and faculty members, an overall mental model that depicted the frequency with which subjects understood MSU-specific recycling concepts was developed. This composite model, and the accompanying statistical analysis, revealed important gaps – on part of both students and faculty – in understanding for several key recycling concepts that are relevant to established campus-based waste reduction practices. Originality/value – The mental models approach, which to the authors' knowledge has yet to be applied to campus sustainability initiatives, provides program managers and outreach specialists with a constructive and transparent opportunity to develop and deploy program information that builds on existing knowledge while also meeting the new information needs of key stakeholders.
    International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 09/2011; 12(4):322-337. · 0.82 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Consumers have a key role to play in meeting government targets for reduced energy consumption, more sustainable waste management practices, and lifestyles with fewer environmental consequences. We discuss some of the assumptions underpinning academic debates about sustainable consumption and describe a research design which has helped us move beyond some of the less helpful conventions. We interviewed consumers in order to obtain a detailed understanding of several of their recent (non-)purchase processes. We identified three groups who have distinct strategies for greening their lifestyles: Translators, Exceptors, and Selectors. We illustrate these groups using empirical data. This detailed understanding of how individuals approach the problem of greening not only provides new insight into how the problem of consumption may be approached in conceptual and practical terms, but also explains some of the difficulties encountered by previous research. We revisit the literature to examine the challenges that this typology offers extant ways of thinking about ‘the green consumer’. We identify ways in which we might influence the groups in our typology through marketing strategies and policy initiatives.
    Journal of Marketing Management 01/2012; 28:445-468.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years, ICTs have afforded the rise of the so called “collaborative consumption” (CC) – a form of consumption where people share consumption of goods and services online. CC has been expected to alleviate societal problems such as hyper-consumption, pollution, and poverty by lowering transaction costs related to coordination of economic activities within communities. However, beyond anecdotal evidence, there is a dearth of empirical studies on attitudes toward such peer-to-peer economies and the intentions to participate in them. The motivation to participate in CC is often regarded as fuelled by the aspirations to do good, but at the same time CC offers participants possible economic benefits. In this paper we investigate the role of these intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in attitudes and participation. The study employs survey data (N=168) and structural equation modeling (SEM-PLS). The results show that, whereas intrinsic motivations strongly predict attitudes, they do not translate as well into usage intentions. Conversely, economic benefits predict use intentions but do not significantly influence attitude. Furthermore, the attitude-behavior gap seems to loom in the consumption behaviour related to collaborative consumption; people perceive the activity positively and say good things about it, but they might not still participate in it themselves.